The Need to Look Beyond Traditional Risk Factors in Medical Diagnoses

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Diviyashree Kasiviswanathan
Umama Gorsi


Record ID: 8

Award(s): Excellence in Research Mentoring

Program Affiliation: American College of Cardiology Young Scholars Program

Student Major: Medical Sciences

Project Advisor: Umama Gorsi

Abstract: Each year, about 7.4 million patients are misdiagnosed in the Emergency Room, which leads to a delay or failure in treating the medical condition and it makes recovery difficult for the patient. Medical malpractice occurs because of short physician-patient interactions, overworked physicians, inexperience, and overconfidence. While the reasons for physician misdiagnosis are well-known, the magnitudinous effect medical malpractice on patients is not well documented. This case study involves a 29-year-old young male with no traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease (or plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries). The patient had a very stressful event a few hours before presenting to the emergency department with chest discomfort. His initial EKG did not meet the criteria for ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction or STEMI, and his initial Troponin level was borderline (0.1 ng/mL). When labs were taken in the morning, his Troponin level was elevated to about 4 ng/mL. The patient was immediately rushed to the Catheterization lab and a successful Percutaneous Coronary Intervention was performed. The patient was discharged with no complications but was advised to follow up with an outpatient cardiology clinic. Overall, this case highlights the need for physicians to look beyond the traditional risk factors and consider patient symptoms and prior history for accurate diagnosis.




Article Details

Category: You, Me and Our Experiences
Author Biography

Diviyashree Kasiviswanathan

Major: Medical Sciences